Monogram Pontiac GTO

Monogram Pontiac GTO

Postby wixwacing » Sun 27 Jul, 2008 8:57 pm

Monogram Pontiac 'GTO'

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by Phil Wicks


I saw this model on the shelves of our local slotcar store 'Red Racer Hobbies' and thought that it might be a nice change to have one to race in the Classic Trans Am class that we run at Slotcar Legends. Providing I fit the right motor and wheels there is nothing to stop me running it. The only off-put was that the body is lime green!! Not the first colour you rush out and buy for a slotcar!! But seeing as this was getting a custom paint job, its starting colour wasn't going to be too much hassle!


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On getting it home I looked into the box and decided this was going to be a casual conversion and not a hurried job. Not because it was going to be my 'finest' ever, but simply because I have several other jobs on the go and this was going to be a straight forward conversion, Wixwacing style.

My 'mode d'employ' is to do a bit to the chassis then a bit to the body, work on the chassis a bit more, then fiddle with the body a bit. Construction can take several weeks and the idea of chopping and changing from body to chassis is purely because I might do some painting on the body, say, so while that's drying, I might do some chassis work. Then again, I might have glued something on the chassis and then cross over to the body while that's setting, logical, no?


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With this model, I chose all the body parts that were to stay, which wasn't much as there are only a dozen or so bits to this model! I decided to keep the side pipes and as they are part of the original chassis I did the simple thing and glued the chassis in place and, once set and cured, I cut away and discarded the vast majority of the chassis less the side pipes.


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Next up was to cut the pcb to size and mark out axle and guide positions. Axle mounts were made and the front and rear axles and guide were mounted in place and the model standing height was set. The axle and guide mounts were then soldered in place. The next job was to make and glue the body mounting pillars in place. These were made by compounding several sizes of styrene tube. The tube was then screwed to the chassis and the chassis offered into the body. The tubes were then trimmed carefully until the chassis was a snug fit in the body. The ends of the tubes and their contact points on the chassis were cross hatched with the end of a sharp hobby knife and epoxied into place using extra strength epoxy. Apart from the two mounting posts, I had glued a couple of strips along the lower inside edge of the body. This is to give the chassis / body fit a base and prevent the body sitting at rest at an odd angle as this model will be running with loosened screws!


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Now it was the turn of the drivers tray. For this I used the original interior tray and cut and modified it to allow the new chassis to sit directly under it. This involved putting a false floor in and assembling the dash and drivers seat. The most important task was to cut away the rear of the tray to allow the sidewinder motor to poke through. Once this was done the motor was carefully covered over by shaping and gluing the styrene sheet around it.


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Next up was the paint job. This kicked off with a good coat of grey primer inside and out to cover the greeness of the original mould. After the primer had cured I flattened it back with some 1200 wet and dry. Blemishes like moulding dimples were fixed with Tamiya body putty and the grey primer was topped up where it had been rubbed through. Once again, after a curing period, the body got its rear end yellow coat. This was unmasked and was done by eye. I allowed this to dry for a couple of hours and I then gave it the silver front end job. This too was unmasked and I sprayed away from the yellow allowing minimal overspray on to it, giving a very pleasing merged join.


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Once again, after a couple of days, the model had a good coat of clear. All the time through painting the model has been mounted on a 'lolly stick' so I can twist and turn it in all directions. When the clear was applied I turned the model vertically to prevent runs during the initial drying period. The decal sheet courtesy of Patto's place had a coat of clear acrylic and was left for a day. This made them easier to handle and minimised the risk of them breaking up during application. The decals were trimmed close to size and dipped and applied one at a time. Once in position, I rolled them carefully with a cotton bud to remove excess moisture and speed their drying process. Once I was happy with all the minor details like lights and grilles and window beads, I gave the model its last coat of clear and left it for a week to cure.


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Whilst all the paintwork had been going on, I crossed over to the chassis and driver's tray. The driver was a Fly driver from the spares box and after giving the interior a coat of satin black, the driver was painted in flat and gloss colours before he too was glued in place. Eventually, when all was safe to handle, the model was assembled. It had already been tested as a bare model so I knew its handling traits. A couple of small pieces of lead had been affixed to the underside of the chassis to improve its balance and the chassis was then finished in flat grey enamel. This makes it a bit more oil resistant than the acrylic is.


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So there you have it. A simple conversions with minimum fuss but a nice model both to drive and to watch! Other parts used in the conversion were, 3/32 music wire (axles), Ninco sprung guide, SCX tinned braid, Scalextric motor, Slot.it pinion and contrate, Ninco wheels and tyres and a bit of lead from the local church roof (only joking!)
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When I'm not racing slotcars,
I'm out in the back yard, burning food!!

When I win, it's because of my talent, not my car or my controller!
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